South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Crestwood aldermen approve bridge project at Whitecliff Park


The Crestwood Board of Aldermen looked at several improvements to Whitecliff Park July 26, eventually approving an agreement with FGM Architects to proceed with a bridge at the park.

According to a memo from Parks Director Eileen Ramirez, the Park Board met June 21 to discuss pavilions, parking, restrooms and a trail near the pedestrian trail that is being installed. The meeting was meant to discuss potential concerns around the large new pavilion that was approved by aldermen in April. 

The Park Board voted to remove a dilapidated pavilion at the park, but to leave the pad in place for a gathering area. Ramirez said every plank on the old pavilion has some damage, resulting in an unsafe structure.

The second conversation revolved around parking — they decided not to have parking by the new pavilion, but instead to have a small road and loop for cars to get to the pavilion and turn around.

The board also voted to apply for a grant for the new restroom, something Ramirez said should be an easy grant to come by.

The last item looked at by the Park Board was a trail from Sheryl Ann Road onto the new pedestrian trail — the board decided to wait for pedestrian feedback on it.

Mayor Grant Mabie said he mostly agrees with the Park Board’s recommendations, but the driving loop may not be a top priority for now.

 Ward 3 Alderman Scott Shipley gave a presentation about a possible perimeter trail on the park, similar to one depicted in the 2000 Whitecliff master plan. The plan would connect several trails already on the site, while utilizing other trails as shortcuts. The perimeter trail would be 1.25 miles.

“Half of (the trail) is already gravel. It gives you lots of places to hop on the trail and access it, as well as … paved cut-through right down the middle,” Shipley said. “I think this paved trail concept needs to continue to live in our master plan.”

Shipley said the trail is an important concept to think of when looking at improvements to the park, like a later discussed trail onto the new pedestrian bridge. 

The bridge in question was on the consent agenda but pulled by Shipley. The ordinance would authorize FGM to design it and would set the city up for bidding down the line. 

Shipley pulled the item to ask about the plan for the connecting trail from Sheryl Ann — the ordinance stated the path would be made of mulch.

“It seems the biggest debate is the exact nature of the material of the path. Everyone agrees there should be a connection from the bridge to the rest of the trail network but … what materials are used will be determined at a later date,” City Administrator Kris Simpson said.

Shipley was concerned that the bridge has nowhere to go in the current plan. Mayor Grant Mabie said this issue might be fixed if the board struck the mulch wording, instead adding wording to allow FGM to evaluate the best path possible during planning — he said in his opinion “mulch would be the worst substance to use.”

Ramirez said the bridge would need to be designed first before a trail could be designed as well, so a plan would have to be created after more information about the bridge is known.

The board voted to strike the mulch wording, and approved the ordinance 7-0, with Ward 2 Alderman Justin Charboneau abstaining. 

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